Reverend Al Sharpton led his “National Day of Decency Initiative” yesterday (August 7), a protest event that took place in more than 20 cities across the United States, singling out “degrading” rap lyrics.
Cities that held major protests included New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Richmond, Jacksonville, Chicago and Detroit.
Sharpton led a group of almost 100 protesters in Detroit to capitalize on the city’s fame as a once-thriving musical metropolis, where he protested the use of the words “n***a” “b***h” and “Ho.”
“I’m here in Motown in Detroit as a symbol of when music was not denigrating and was entertaining,” Sharpton said.
Over 200 people protested in Times Square, calling for the divestment of almost $3.5 billion in public pension funds invested in record labels that don’t comply with the banning of the words.
“The opposition has tried to use the argument of free speech, but they don’t have the freedom to use peoples’ pension funds against their own will and interest,” Sharpton said from Detroit.
In North Houston, Bishop James Dixon II led a protest group of over 200 people in front of the Soundwaves Record Store.
Dixon also criticized the record labels and called a standard of “decency” to be set.
“Let’s reconsider this powerful medium and use that positively,” Dixon told the crowd. “We’re all in this together, let’s use this as a powerful platform to encourage responsible, safe sex and respect for elders and women.”